A Look Back on 2012

Before I get too wrapped up in the new year, I wanted to take a chance to take a look back on some of my favorite baseball photos from 2012. I’m always trying to improve as a photographer and I know that I have a lot yet to learn. It seems the more I shoot the more things I find that I can improve on, but I also like to think that I’ve made some progress in that endeavor.

The photos below are some of my favorite baseball photos from the past year for various reasons. Sometimes I just liked the light, colors, shapes, or even just the tone of the photo. They may not be particularly meaningful in any certain way, but what I try to do with my baseball photos is to highlight the things that make baseball…well…baseball. What I especially like to focus on are details and the setting. Since baseball is a game of very deliberate pace it lends itself well to the types of shots I enjoy shooting. I love keeping my eyes open for small details between plays or trying to imagine different ways to capture the setting. With so many games each season it allows for a lot of experimentation and opportunities to get shots I’ve never captured before.

Before I get to my favorite photos, I wanted to mention that 2012 was also the first year that I started using Instagram and I absolutely loved capturing baseball within the limitations of an iPhone camera and a square format. It really made me approach the game with a different perspective and I had a blast trying to find new things to capture within those limitations. You can find a small gallery of my favorite baseball Instagrams at the following link: Baseball Instagrams

You can also follow me on Instagram: @ben_c_krause

Without further delay please enjoy some of my favorite shots from 2012. Where I feel it’s needed I will provide an explanation as to why I like a particular photo.

A close up view of a Minnesota Twins hat during a game against the Chicago White Sox on September 16, 2012 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  The White Sox defeated the Twins 9 to 2.  Photo: Ben Krause

A close up view of a Minnesota Twins hat during a game against the Chicago White Sox on September 16, 2012 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The White Sox defeated the Twins 9 to 2. Photo: © Ben Krause 2012

A close-up view of the socks of Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollings during a game against the Minnesota Twins on June 12, 2012 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  The Twins defeated the Phillies 11 to 7.  Photo: © Ben Krause 2012

A close-up view of the socks of Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollings during a game against the Minnesota Twins on June 12, 2012 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Twins defeated the Phillies 11 to 7. Photo: © Ben Krause 2012

I really loved the vibrant colors in these previous two photos with the bright red standing out against the darker blues and greens behind them. In the Phillies photo I especially liked the Liberty Bell logo on the socks and Jimmy Rollins’ custom cleats.

Cole Devries (38), Joe Mauer (7), and Rick Anderson (40)of the Minnesota Twins head for the dugout before a game against the Tampa Bay Rays on August 10, 2012 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  The Rays defeated the Twins 12 to 6.  Photo: © Ben Krause 2012

Cole Devries (38), Joe Mauer (7), and Rick Anderson (40)
of the Minnesota Twins head for the dugout before a game against the Tampa Bay Rays on August 10, 2012 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Rays defeated the Twins 12 to 6. Photo: © Ben Krause 2012

The beautiful green grass with the long shadows caused by the setting sun made this photo for me. It’s just a peaceful mid-summer baseball photo.

This is a single photo frame comprised of 3 exposures compiled in-camera.  Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher CJ Wilson pitches against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota on April 9, 2012.  The Angels defeated the Twins 5 to 1.

This is a single photo frame comprised of 3 exposures compiled in-camera. Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher CJ Wilson pitches against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota on April 9, 2012. The Angels defeated the Twins 5 to 1. Photo: © Ben Krause 2012

This is a technique I really want to explore a little more in 2013. It’s done entirely in-camera where I choose how many exposures to take for the given frame. I should have tried it more this past year, but I think it’s going to take some very particular lighting conditions to really make it impactful. I’m hoping I can make a much better photo this next year using this technique if I can find the right opportunity.

Oakland Athletics right fielder Josh Reddick waits in the on-deck circle during a game against the Minnesota Twins on May 28, 2012 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  The Twins defeated the Athletics 5 to 4.  Photo: © Ben Krause 2012

Oakland Athletics right fielder Josh Reddick waits in the on-deck circle during a game against the Minnesota Twins on May 28, 2012 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Twins defeated the Athletics 5 to 4. Photo: © Ben Krause 2012

To me this photo just quietly screams baseball and it speaks to the deliberate pace of the game I was talking about earlier: a batter warming up on deck chewing gum in the warm sunshine of an afternoon ballgame outdoors.

Oakland Athletics right fielder Josh Reddick slides in safely at 3rd base with a triple during a game against the Minnesota Twins on May 28, 2012 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  The Twins defeated the Athletics 5 to 4.  Photo: © Ben Krause 2012

Oakland Athletics right fielder Josh Reddick slides in safely at 3rd base with a triple during a game against the Minnesota Twins on May 28, 2012 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Twins defeated the Athletics 5 to 4. Photo: © Ben Krause 2012

Whenever I used to look at baseball photos growing up for some reason shots like this always caught my interest with the afternoon sunshine and the infield dirt flying up. Really tight shots of players sliding into a base are always some of my favorite shots.

A young fan waits at home plate prior to the singing of the national anthem before a game between the Minnesota Twins and the Texas Rangers on Jackie Robinson Day at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota on April 15, 2012.  The Rangers defeated the Twins 4 to 3.  Photo: © Ben Krause 2012

A young fan waits at home plate prior to the singing of the national anthem before a game between the Minnesota Twins and the Texas Rangers on Jackie Robinson Day at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota on April 15, 2012. The Rangers defeated the Twins 4 to 3. Photo: © Ben Krause 2012

This is definitely one of my top 5 favorite shots from 2012. The Twins usually do a “kid’s lineup” every Sunday where kids get to go out to each position and meet the Twins player playing that position prior to national anthem. This young man was “playing” catcher, but before the Twins catcher got out to home plate the umpires were already waiting for him. I got lucky and captured this at just the right moment with the young kid looking up in a little bit of bewilderment at the unfamiliar surroundings while the umpires surrounded him. I believe the umpire with his arm’s crossed was just giving that look playfully, but I think it really helps give the photo a story.

Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer #7 leaves the bullpen before a game against the Baltimore Orioles at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota on July 16, 2012.  The Twins defeated the Orioles 19 to 7 setting a Target Field record for runs scored by the Twins.  Photo: © Ben Krause 2012

Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer #7 leaves the bullpen before a game against the Baltimore Orioles at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota on July 16, 2012. The Twins defeated the Orioles 19 to 7 setting a Target Field record for runs scored by the Twins. Photo: © Ben Krause 2012

Another one of my definite favorite photos of the year because of the way the light allowed the Twins superstar catcher, Joe Mauer, to be completely isolated in the photo. I also think it’s a little bit of a different perspective that you wouldn’t normally have the ability to capture. This was taken at the bullpen as Joe was heading to the dugout before the game started. At Target Field there is a photo position above the batter’s eye in center field and it is immediately adjacent to the bullpen. There is one spot on the batter’s eye where you can lean out and look straight down on the players as they head out to the field and that’s what allowed this shot to happen.

Rain postponed the game between the Kansas City Royals and Minnesota Twins at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota on April 28, 2012. Photo: © Ben Krause 2012

Rain postponed the game between the Kansas City Royals and Minnesota Twins at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota on April 28, 2012. Photo: © Ben Krause 2012

What I mostly liked about this photo were all the horizontal lines and the layers they created. It starts with the seats that lead up to the rain soaked dugout with the MLB logo to give it some context, then up to the green field, and then finally the tarp covering the field.

Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer looks on during a game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota on June 17, 2012.  The Twins defeated the Brewers 5 to 4 in 15 innings.  The game was the longest in Target Field history.  Photo: © Ben Krause 2012

Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer looks on during a game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota on June 17, 2012. The Twins defeated the Brewers 5 to 4 in 15 innings. The game was the longest in Target Field history. Photo: © Ben Krause 2012

Just a portrait I liked of a superstar player in the rain.

Old wooden seats in Fenway Park.  These are the oldest seats in Major League Baseball.  Photo: © Ben Krause 2012

Old wooden seats in Fenway Park. These are the oldest seats in Major League Baseball. Photo: © Ben Krause 2012

I took my first trip to Boston in August, so of course I had to get a shot of the wooden seats in Fenway Park. I did a little bit of toning and added saturation to accentuate the features of the seats.

Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer waits for the home plate umpire's call after tagging out Texas Rangers 3rd baseman Adrian Beltre on Jackie Robinson Day at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota on April 15, 2012.  The Rangers defeated the Twins 4 to 3.  Photo: © Ben Krause 2012

Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer waits for the home plate umpire’s call after tagging out Texas Rangers 3rd baseman Adrian Beltre on Jackie Robinson Day at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota on April 15, 2012. The Rangers defeated the Twins 4 to 3. Photo: © Ben Krause 2012

This was a cloudy, rainy game in April that I thought would make some good black and white photos. Part of the idea I had was I wanted to see if I could make photos that might feel like they were shot 100 years ago or something, except using my modern camera equipment. I discussed this idea in the first post I made about the 2012 baseball season.

Justin Verlander #35 of the Detroit Tigers pitches during a game against the Minnesota Twins on September 29, 2012 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  The Tigers defeated the Twins 6 to 4.  Photo: © Ben Krause 2012

Justin Verlander #35 of the Detroit Tigers pitches during a game against the Minnesota Twins on September 29, 2012 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Tigers defeated the Twins 6 to 4. Photo: © Ben Krause 2012

This is a photo that I had starting thinking about almost a week before the game. The reason is because of the start time of the game. There are only maybe 3 or 4 games each season at Target Field where the game is ongoing as the sunlight filters through the canopy of Target Field and drapes the field in light and shadows. During most of the season this light has already crossed the field by the time the game starts. The only real chances of getting this light are games that start in the mid-afternoon in the early or late parts of the season. Most games either start very early in the afternoon where the shadows never reach the field during the game or in the evening where the shadows have already crossed the field before the game starts.

So when I found out this game in late September was going to be starting in the late afternoon and that I would be shooting it, I crossed my fingers that it would be a sunny day. Luck was on my side because not only was it sunny, but reigning AL Cy Young and MVP Justin Verlander would be on the mound for the visiting Tigers. Beautiful light helps make beautiful pictures.

Joe Mauer #7 of the Minnesota Twins connects for a double during a game against the Chicago White Sox on September 16, 2012 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  The White Sox defeated the Twins 9 to 2.  Photo: © Ben Krause 2012

Joe Mauer #7 of the Minnesota Twins connects for a double during a game against the Chicago White Sox on September 16, 2012 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The White Sox defeated the Twins 9 to 2. Photo: © Ben Krause 2012

Just a classic Joe Mauer double.

Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer smiles while talking to the 1st base umpire during a game against the Texas Rangers on Jackie Robinson Day at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota on April 15, 2012.  The Rangers defeated the Twins 4 to 3.  Photo: © Ben Krause 2012

Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer smiles while talking to the 1st base umpire during a game against the Texas Rangers on Jackie Robinson Day at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota on April 15, 2012. The Rangers defeated the Twins 4 to 3. Photo: © Ben Krause 2012

Minnesota Twins center fielder Denard Span is caught in a run-down against the Texas Rangers on Jackie Robinson Day at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota on April 15, 2012.  The Rangers defeated the Twins 4 to 3.  Photo: © Ben Krause 2012

Minnesota Twins center fielder Denard Span is caught in a run-down against the Texas Rangers on Jackie Robinson Day at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota on April 15, 2012. The Rangers defeated the Twins 4 to 3. Photo: © Ben Krause 2012

During a Turn Back the Clock game one of the Minnesota Twins rounds 1st base during a game against the Kansas City Royals at Target Field on June 30, 2012 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  This was the second game of a split double header.  The Twins defeated the Royals 5 to 1. Photo: © Ben Krause 2012

During a Turn Back the Clock game one of the Minnesota Twins rounds 1st base during a game against the Kansas City Royals at Target Field on June 30, 2012 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This was the second game of a split double header. The Twins defeated the Royals 5 to 1. Photo: © Ben Krause 2012

Using slow shutter speeds is another thing I want to experiment more with in 2013. During the turn-back-the-clock game in June I wanted to get a shot that captured a bit of the context for the game. The bases with their special plates made for the game provided the context, but it needed another feature. The high socks with the great orange stripes that a few of the Twins players were wearing helped provide the missing feature. This shot took a little bit of luck and patience to capture. Only 2 or 3 of the Twins players were wearing these socks, so I could only attempt the photo when one of them was up to bat and also put the ball into play. The shutter speed was also very slow, so in order to make the base sharp and clear I needed to hold my camera extremely steady as the player was making contact with the base. So what I did was place my monopod tightly between my feet and knees with the camera pre-focused on the base. Then all I had to do was wait for the player to put the ball into play. I got particularly lucky as this batter got a base hit, which meant the 1st baseman would not be in the shot as the runner rounded the base and helped make a little bit cleaner shot.

Wearing the 1951 uniform of the Minneapolis Millers,  Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer rounds the bases after hitting a home run against the Kansas City Royals at Target Field on June 30, 2012 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  This was the second game of a split double header.  The Twins defeated the Royals 5 to 1. Photo: © Ben Krause 2012

Wearing the 1951 uniform of the Minneapolis Millers, Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer rounds the bases after hitting a home run against the Kansas City Royals at Target Field on June 30, 2012 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This was the second game of a split double header. The Twins defeated the Royals 5 to 1. Photo: © Ben Krause 2012

Light streaking the outfield as #7 rounds the bases after hitting a home run in a throw-back uniform. I’ll almost certainly never be able to make this image again.

Minnesota Twins DH Justin Morneau celebrates with Joe Mauer after hitting a go-ahead home run, his 1st of the year, in the 8th inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Target Field in Minneapolis, MInnesota on April 12, 2012.  The Twins defeated the Angels 10 to 9.  Photo: © Ben Krause 2012

Minnesota Twins DH Justin Morneau celebrates with Joe Mauer after hitting a go-ahead home run, his 1st of the year, in the 8th inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Target Field in Minneapolis, MInnesota on April 12, 2012. The Twins defeated the Angels 10 to 9. Photo: © Ben Krause 2012

Two things put this image over the top for me: 1. the afternoon light and 2: the wall of cheering fans filling up the background. To me it just made for a classic baseball celebration photo.

Minnesota Twins center fielder Denard Span eludes his teammates while celebrating a walk off victory against the Milwaukee Brewers in the 15th inning at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota on June 17, 2012.  The Twins defeated the Brewers 5 to 4.  The game was the longest in Target Field history.  Photo: © Ben Krause 2012

Minnesota Twins center fielder Denard Span eludes his teammates while celebrating a walk off victory against the Milwaukee Brewers in the 15th inning at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota on June 17, 2012. The Twins defeated the Brewers 5 to 4. The game was the longest in Target Field history. Photo: © Ben Krause 2012

This was the result of the longest game in Target Field history. It took 15 innings and a rain delay in the middle of it before the Twins defeated the border rival Brewers. I liked how the two fastest players on the team were chasing each other in celebration after Span got the game-winning hit.

A fireworks display was put on after the game between the Minnesota Twins and Cleveland Indians at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota on July 27, 2012.  Photo: © Ben Krause 2012

A fireworks display was put on after the game between the Minnesota Twins and Cleveland Indians at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota on July 27, 2012. Photo: © Ben Krause 2012

Summer means baseball and fireworks. Target Field makes for a great setting.

A wide angle view of Target Field as the Minnesota Twins play the Toronto Blue Jays on May 12, 2012 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  This photo was created by merging 5 exposures using HDR software. Photo: © Ben Krause 2012

A wide angle view of Target Field as the Minnesota Twins play the Toronto Blue Jays on May 12, 2012 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This photo was created by merging 5 exposures using HDR software. Photo: © Ben Krause 2012

A packed Target Field in the great golden hour sunlight. It sure is a fantastic setting for baseball.

Some fans wait in their seats early before a game between the Minnesota Twins and Chicago White Sox on September 16, 2012 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  The White Sox defeated the Twins 9 to 2.  Photo: © Ben Krause 2012

Some fans wait in their seats early before a game between the Minnesota Twins and Chicago White Sox on September 16, 2012 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The White Sox defeated the Twins 9 to 2. Photo: © Ben Krause 2012

A shot where I just liked the pattern created by the seats and there being exactly one group of fans on each level waiting for the game to start.

Baltimore Orioles 3rd baseman Wilson Betemit #24 waits on-deck during a game against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota on July 16, 2012.  The Twins defeated the Orioles 19 to 7 setting a Target Field record for runs scored by the Twins.  Photo: © Ben Krause 2012

Baltimore Orioles 3rd baseman Wilson Betemit #24 waits on-deck during a game against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota on July 16, 2012. The Twins defeated the Orioles 19 to 7 setting a Target Field record for runs scored by the Twins. Photo: © Ben Krause 2012

Another shot that shows the great setting that Target Field provides for baseball. I also liked how Wilson Betemit was the tallest object in the image making him look like a giant as the pitcher and batter duel.

Baltimore Orioles 1st baseman Mark Reynolds #12 holds onto his bat while waiting in the on-deck circle during a game against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota on July 16, 2012.  The Twins defeated the Orioles 19 to 7 setting a Target Field record for runs scored by the Twins.  Photo: © Ben Krause 2012

Baltimore Orioles 1st baseman Mark Reynolds #12 holds onto his bat while waiting in the on-deck circle during a game against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota on July 16, 2012. The Twins defeated the Orioles 19 to 7 setting a Target Field record for runs scored by the Twins. Photo: © Ben Krause 2012

One of those detail shots showing something that is unique to baseball. The defocused green background provided a nice backdrop.

Prince Fielder #28 of the Detroit Tigers waits on-deck during a game against the Minnesota Twins on September 29, 2012 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  The Tigers defeated the Twins 6 to 4.  Photo: © Ben Krause 2012

Prince Fielder #28 of the Detroit Tigers waits on-deck during a game against the Minnesota Twins on September 29, 2012 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Tigers defeated the Twins 6 to 4. Photo: © Ben Krause 2012

The dreads, the beard, there is no doubt it’s Prince Fielder. I just like these types of shots that give ordinary fans a view they wouldn’t normally see on TV or in the stands.

Justin Verlander #35 of the Detroit Tigers warms up in the bullpen before a game against the Minnesota Twins on September 29, 2012 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  The Tigers defeated the Twins 6 to 4.  Photo: © Ben Krause 2012

Justin Verlander #35 of the Detroit Tigers warms up in the bullpen before a game against the Minnesota Twins on September 29, 2012 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Tigers defeated the Twins 6 to 4. Photo: © Ben Krause 2012

Shadows and solitude.

Minnesota Twins Scott Diamond #58 prepares before a game against the Baltimore Orioles at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota on July 16, 2012.  The Twins defeated the Orioles 19 to 7 setting a Target Field record for runs scored by the Twins.  Photo: © Ben Krause 2012

Minnesota Twins Scott Diamond #58 prepares before a game against the Baltimore Orioles at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota on July 16, 2012. The Twins defeated the Orioles 19 to 7 setting a Target Field record for runs scored by the Twins. Photo: © Ben Krause 2012

Scott Diamond has a very specific wind-up where he curls his glove under his forearm and I wanted to capture that in the shadow as he warmed up before a game.

Minnesota Twins right fielder Josh Willingham has Gatorade dumped on him by teammate Matt Capps after Willingham hit a 3-run walk-off home run with 2 outs and down by 2 runs against the Oakland Athletics on May 29, 2012 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  The Twins defeated the Athletics 3 to 2.  Photo: © Ben Krause 2012

Minnesota Twins right fielder Josh Willingham has Gatorade dumped on him by teammate Matt Capps after Willingham hit a 3-run walk-off home run with 2 outs and down by 2 runs against the Oakland Athletics on May 29, 2012 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Twins defeated the Athletics 3 to 2. Photo: © Ben Krause 2012

If you’ve made it this far, thank you very much for taking a look at some of my favorite baseball photos of 2012! With any luck I hope to get the opportunity to capture many more baseball photos in 2013.

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